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Defiant II AA417 lost over the North Sea on 11/4-1943.
The aircraft belonged to RAF 515 Sqn. Fighter Command.
T/O 21:25 Coltishall OP: Special Patrol for 11 Group.
The Defiant took off on a special mission to the Dutch coast, where it should
disturb the Freya radar by means of its Mandrel radio. Uffz Georg Kraft and his
Bordfunker Uffz Erich Handke, 12./NJG1, took off from Bergen in a Bf.110 for a
patrol in the radar sector ‘Salzhering’ at Den Helder.
Uffz Handke picked up a signal on his airborne radar at 1.800 metres distance.
They chased the signal over an undercast of haze, reaching to 2.000 metres. Uffz
Handke led Uffz Kraft to 300 metres distance and to their surprise they saw a
heavy waving single engine aircraft which they identified as a Mustang. After
they switched off the airborne radar, the a/c stopped waving and the German crew
concluded that the enemy aircraft was fitted with a kind of detector for ultra
Uffz Kraft pulled up and fired from 40 metres distance. Immediately white petrol
flames leaked from both wing roots and the aircraft flew in a flat angle into
the sea were the wreckage burned for some time.
Uffz Handke listed this victory at 22.26 hrs local time in Plan Quadrat 43121,
some 30 kilometres West of Den Helder. The crash was witnessed by a Flak unit at
the coast south of the ground radar station.
On 14/6 Receiver of Wrecks Søren Bækby Bertelsen found the body of Air Gnr. F/O
Eric H. Ferguson washed ashore in Beach area no. 10a at Aaberg Forstrand near
Husby Klit. The German Wehrmacht set guard by the body and on 15/6 it was moved
to Lemvig where it was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery on 19/6-1943.
On 16/6 Reciever of Wrecks Chr. Lauridsen found the body of Pilot P/O
Bartholomew McKeon washed ashore near Trans and took it to his farm. On
19/6-1943 McKeon was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery.
Sources: AIR 27/1981, BL, LBUK, Report Lemvig and Ringkøbing Police, CWGC,
Hans Nauta, Holland.
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